British American Tobacco Logo

British American Tobacco LogoBritish American Tobacco Logo PNG

The logo British American Tobacco adopted in 2020 minimizes the “tobacco” theme.

Meaning and history

British American Tobacco Logo history

1900s – 1996

British American Tobacco Logo old
The original BAT logo was a rounded square shape covered 2/3 in blue and 1/3 in white. The upper blue section contained an image of a tobacco plant with three leaves, while the bottom white bit showed the company’s acronym in thin, serif letters.

1996 – 2020

British American Tobacco Logo 1900s

The old British American Tobacco logo featured three tobacco leaves forming a three-pointed shape. The sharp elements inside the leaves looked like the rays of the rising sun. Both the yellow color and the sun created an optimistic note. According to the brand, this design was a “symbol of a world-leading tobacco company.”

The picture was complemented by the full name of the brand, British American Tobacco, in a semi-serif font. The sharpened elements on the letters vaguely rhymed with the sunrays and the angles on the ends of the tobacco leaves.

2020 – Today

British American Tobacco Logo

The tobacco theme has disappeared. For one, the leaf design was dropped. Also, the full name was replaced by the modest “BAT.”

This time, the shape of the letters was more unusual. The stencil-inspired glyphs contained a lot of gaps. There was also a pair of swooshes above. They supposed an optimistic and dynamic touch supported by the tagline “A Better Tomorrow.” The tagline offered an alternative interpretation to the abbreviation “BAT” breaking the connection with the tobacco theme.

According to the press release, the updated design conveys the following message: showing ”a unification of our international and American businesses” (this is probably the meaning of the swooshes) and emphasizing “our multi-category portfolio.”

The logo has been criticized by quite a few people. For instance, the Brand New blog promised to save the No. 1 spot in the “The Worst Noted list of 2020” for it.

The list of things the author did not like about the design included the unattractive and unnatural shape of the letters, the swooshes (old-fashioned, meaningless), as well as the tagline (including the irony of a tobacco company promising a better future).

There is also a version featuring the tagline paired with the McLaren ring, which reflects the collaboration between the two companies.

One more problem, which does not refer directly to the BAT logo yet still spoils it, is that the word “bat” has been highly loaded with negative associations due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which may have originated from bats.